Ten Ways to Help Kids with Homework

A common struggle between children and their parents is getting homework done in a timely manner and without tears. Parents often turn to tutors not only to provide their child with help with specific concepts but for advice on how they can help kids with homework without the stress that they often deal with.

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Here are ten tips to help kids with homework:

1. Help children get organized and develop good habits by writing down the homework assignment in an assignment or agenda pad each day. They should bring this pad to and from school each day and refer to it when they sit down to tackle their homework. Parents should also review the assignment pad nightly to see that all homework is completed.

2. Provide children with a calendar to chart long term assignments and any other activities that may interfere with completing nightly homework.

3. Parents should look over previous night’s homework to see if their child is on the right track and meeting the teacher’s expectations.

4. Assume that children have homework every night. Even if nothing is written in the assignment pad and the child claims that there is no homework, they should still spend some time reviewing class notes, studying for upcoming quizzes or tests, or working on practice problems dealing with concepts that they may have struggled with in the past.

5. Children should attempt homework on their own before eliciting the help of a parent or a tutor. Struggling for a little while with a concept is not a bad thing and will help a student realize that not everything will come easy and most things can be figured out if they put a little thought and effort into it. However, don’t let children get too frustrated. Parents should step in before their kids become discouraged.

6. If children have attempted the homework on their own and are struggling quite a bit, then sit down with them and work out the beginning of the homework together and then let them try the rest.

7. Do not do homework for the child. Ask leading questions and prompt them in the direction of the answer, but don’t give away the answers. If children know that eventually Mom or Dad will do their homework for them, then they will always pretend to struggle until someone does it for them.

8. Praise works wonders. Identify what the children are doing well and let them know that you noticed these things.

9. Parents should stay in touch with their children's teachers. A simple email every once in a while will keep the lines of communication open and provide feedback about how the children are performing at home and in the classroom.

10. Parents should show their children that even adults have homework. By sitting down to pay the bills, balance a checkbook, write thank you notes or a letter to a friend, look up recipes, or simply read for pleasure it will help kids with homework by showing them that the skills they are learning in school now will be applied in their adult life.

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